Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Yah-New! Did Yahoo Hit The Mark With Its Logo Change?

Yahoo's new logo.
Yahoo.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 10:04 am

Compare Yahoo's new logo, introduced Thursday, to what was there before.

According to CEO Marissa Mayer, "we knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud."

On her Tumblr page, Mayer goes on at length about how:

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu September 5, 2013

It's A Girl! New Panda Is Doing Fine, National Zoo Says

The Smithsonian National Zoo's newest giant panda on Aug. 25, two days after her birth.
National Zoo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:52 am

The giant panda cub born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 is a girl, officials announced Thursday morning.

What's more, she "has a fat little belly" and seems to be doing just fine, zoo curator Brandie Smith says.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Did You See A Flash In The Sky? You Just Might On Friday

If you're in those circles, you may be able to see something in the sky late Friday night when NASA launches a rocket from its spaceport on the Virginia coast.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:44 am

News stations in Washington, D.C., say they started getting calls just after 11 p.m. ET Wednesday from folks reporting that they'd seen a mysterious light in the sky.

WTOP says some people thought the flash was green or blue. CBS DC heard from some who said it was orange. The station adds that the light "was seen in the skies over the eastern seaboard."

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Job Growth Cooled A Bit In August, Report Signals

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:39 am

There were 176,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in August than the month before, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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The Two-Way
5:36 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Egyptian Official Survives Attack As 'Remarkable Calm' Broken

Security officials inspect the scene of a bomb blast that apparently targeted Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim near his home in Cairo's Nasr City on Thursday. He survived the attack.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:35 am

Just a few hours after this headline:

"Egyptians Hail Military Order as Calm Returns to Streets." (The Wall Street Journal)

... The still tenuous state of affairs in Egypt was underscored by this news:

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The Two-Way
5:09 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Even Their Seats Are To Be Separated When Putin And Obama Meet

Off they go.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 10:09 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports on the G-20 Summit

Much is being made about the symbolism of the seating at the G-20 summit of world leaders, which begins Thursday in St. Petersburg, Russia, and what it supposedly says about U.S.-Russian relations.

Here's how The Guardian starts its story:

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Wed September 4, 2013

As Pentagon Adds Bombing Options, Kerry Warns Assad

As Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, "Code Pink" protesters behind him held up "bloody hands" to express their opposition to the prospect of U.S. military strikes on Syria.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

"We are not asking America to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee early Wednesday afternoon, as he and other top administration officials continued to push Congress to support President Obama's call for military strikes aimed at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Wed September 4, 2013

So McCain Plays Games On His Phone When He's Bored; Do You?

Those are the hands and phone of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He gets bored sometimes, the lawmaker says. So, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, he played a little poker.
Melina Mara The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:32 am

We were shocked, shocked to see a photo taken by The Washington Post's Melina Mara of Sen.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Ohio Is Publicly Shaming Another Convicted Idiot

Richard Dameron tells Cleveland's WKYC-TV he's sorry for drunkenly dialing 911. A judge says he has to stand outside a police station each day this week to show that to the city.
WKYC.com

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:10 am

Drive by the police station in Cleveland's second district this week and you'll likely see 58-year-old Richard Dameron standing outside with a sign that reads:

"I apologize to officer Simone & all police officers for being an idiot calling 911 threatening to kill you. I'm sorry and it will never happen again."

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Wed September 4, 2013

'I Always Reserve The Right' To Act, Obama Says Of Syria

President Obama during his news conference Wednesday in Stockholm.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:08 am

Although he says he did not ask Congress to authorize the use of force against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "as a symbolic gesture," President Obama reiterated Wednesday that "I always reserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America's national security."

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Okla. Court Puts Hold On Return Of 'Baby Veronica' To S.C.

An October 2011 photo of "Baby Veronica," provided by her adoptive mother, Melanie Capobianco.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 9:54 am

The complicated and emotional case of a Native American girl who was adopted by a couple in South Carolina but has been living for more than 18 months with her biological father in Oklahoma has taken another turn.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Wed September 4, 2013

In Europe, Obama Will Seek Support For Syria Strike

President Obama as he emerged from Air Force One early Wednesday in Stockholm.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 9:49 am

President Obama landed in Sweden on Wednesday — the start of a European trip that will take him to Russia for a summit of world leaders at which he'll try to build support for his plan to strike targets inside Syria.

As The Washington Post says, it's a "high-stakes trip ... that could show whether the United States has broad international backing for action."

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Social Media Erupt On News Of Ariel Castro's Death

It took neighbors' help for Amanda Berry to escape through the bolted storm door of the Cleveland home where authorities say she and two other women were held captive for nearly a decade. After she emerged, the women and Berry's daughter were rescued. Later, the home was destroyed.
David Maxwell EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 9:46 am

As Americans wake up Wednesday to the news that Ariel Castro is dead, many are turning to Twitter and other social media to share their thoughts.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Bay Area's New Span Truly Is A Troll Bridge

Who goes there? On the Bay Bridge, the new troll will want to know.
BayBridgeInfo

Would there be a troll under the new Bay Bridge that links San Francisco and Oakland?

That seemingly silly question was being taken pretty seriously by some in California until Monday evening, when the official Twitter page of the San Francisco-Bay Bridge put out the word that, yes, there will be a little fellow under the new span. He'll be there to "protect" travelers.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'Death Ray II'? London Building Reportedly Roasts Cars

A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new "Walkie Talkie" tower in central London on Aug. 30.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:17 pm

A skyscraper under construction "melted my Jag," reads the headline from London's City A.M.

"Beam of light from Walkie Talkie skyscraper 'melts man's Jaguar,' " says London's Metro.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Boehner, Pelosi Unite Behind President On Syria

President Obama met with more than a dozen lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the White House on Tuesday to press his case for a military strike in Syria.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:30 pm

President Obama's call for Congress to give him the go-ahead to strike targets in Syria has put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the same side of an important issue for one of the few times in recent years.

Calling Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons "a barbarous act," Boehner emerged from a meeting at the White House to say he supports Obama's request.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Syria Resolution Will Hit Mark, Obama Predicts

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 9:25 am

The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.

Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue September 3, 2013

The Lava Lamp Has Turned 50; Here's Some Groovy Video

Far out.
Superfloop Flickr

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:52 am

Not much more needs to be said, man: The lava lamp "first hit stores in Britain on this day in 1963."

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue September 3, 2013

McCain Says Right Strikes Can Hurt Assad's Capabilities

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with President Obama on Sunday at the White House.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:18 am

By "taking out Bashar Assad's delivery capabilities of chemical weapons" the U.S. can make it much harder for the Syrian leader to wage war against his people and perhaps level the fighting field or turn it in favor of Assad's opponents, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Tuesday on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'The Worm' Returns To North Korea; Rodman Visits Again

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:48 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports on Dennis Rodman's latest visit to North Korea

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea again, six months after spending time there with dictator Kim Jong Un — an "awesome" man, in Rodman's opinion.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that:

"Rodman was spotted transiting the Beijing airport en route to Pyongyang, sporting his characteristic lip and nose rings, plus green hair.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue September 3, 2013

For Microsoft, Nokia's Phones Are 'Key To Everything'

That's a Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone snapping an image of a Windows icon.
Dado Ruvic Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:52 am

Here's why Microsoft says its $7.2 billion deal to buy Nokia's smartphone business as well as that company's patents and services makes sense.

"It all starts with the phone," writes PCWorld, in a piece that analyzes why "the phone is key to everything."

According to the magazine:

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The Two-Way
4:50 am
Tue September 3, 2013

2 Million Syrians Are Now Refugees And More Are 'On The Way'

Syrian-Kurdish children sit on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on Aug. 22. Faced with brutal violence and soaring prices, thousands of Syrian Kurds have poured into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. UNICEF has reported that over one million Syrian children live as refugees in other countries.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:08 am

"The number of Syrians forced to seek shelter abroad since civil war began in March 2011 passed the 2 million mark on Tuesday with no sign of the outflow ending soon," the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports. Most are in neighboring nations.

About 1 million of the refugees, as we've previously reported, are children.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Kerry Says Assad, A 'Thug And Murderer,' Was Behind Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks Friday at the State Department.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:28 pm

  • Aug. 30, 2013: Secretary of State John Kerry on the crisis in Syria

The evidence is clear "and compelling" that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons against its own people last week, Secretary of State John Kerry told the American people Friday.

The U.S., Kerry said, knows where the rockets carrying the chemicals were fired from — territory controlled by the Assad regime — and when they were launched.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 9:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Thought Of 'Flames Of Hell' For Sgt. Bales Comforts Afghans

Sadiqullah (center), who was shot by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and was a witness in the trial, stands with some of the Afghan civilians who traveled from Kandahar to the U.S. for Bales' trial. Translator Ahmad Shafi is at left, in the blue shirt.
Martin Kaste NPR

It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.

They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Striking Syria Still Seems A Question Of When, Not Whether

At the White House, President Obama and his advisers continue to work to build support in Congress and among allies for striking Syria.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:54 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

Though Great Britain won't be joining in any military action aimed at Syria, it appears the White House is determined to go ahead — most likely within the next few days and most likely with missile strikes.

We'll be following the news throughout the day and over the weekend. As Friday dawns, here's where things stand:

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Irish Poet Seamus Heaney Dies

Irish poet Seamus Heaney in 2010.
Paul McErlane EPA/Landov

Seamus Heaney, "acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since Yeats," has died, the BBC and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Third Tsarnaev Friend Indicted On Lying Charge

A third friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been indicted on a charge related to what authorities say were attempts by the trio to mislead investigators or dispose of evidence that linked Tsarnaev to the bombings.

The office of the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts posted this statement on Twitter early Thursday afternoon:

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users

A customer rolls a joint made of half marijuana and half tobacco to smoke inside of Frankie Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia, Wash., in December 2012.
Nick Adams Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:58 pm

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado — two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use — about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.

Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where "medical marijuana" is legal.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Thu August 29, 2013

NFL, Retirees Reach $765M Settlement On Concussions Suits

Junior Seau sustained many concussions during his career and was suffering from a degenerative brain disease when he killed himself in May 2012.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:45 pm

The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players have reached an agreement calling for the league to contribute $765 million to a fund that will pay "medical and other benefits, as well as compensation" to those who suffered concussions and related injuries during their careers.

Details of the agreement, which would settle concussion-related lawsuits by former players and still needs a judge's OK, were released by the league early Thursday afternoon.

According to that statement:

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